Ahead of His Time
Sheleff’s thesis horrified the many publishers to whom the manuscript was submitted, several of whom returned it with letters hinting that the author might simply be acting out his own unresolved oedipal hostility towards his father… Finally, a young editor at McGraw-Hill, excited by the furious reaction of one of his reviewers, had the courage to publish the book.
Generations Apart is a fascinating survey of psychology, sociology, history, anthropology, politics, law, literature and myth—as well as family life, education, juvenile care systems, the upheavals of the 1960’s, and the works of other social commentators.
Although many of Sheleff’s insights are now common knowledge, Generations Apart continues to be a valuable resource for developing a more comprehensive theoretical understanding of generational relations. Its most original contribution is the author’s reassessment of the traditional interpretation of the Oedipus myth, and his juxtaposition to it of the Persian myth of Rustum and Sohrab (in which a father unwittingly kills his son) as an equally valid and compelling analogy for the reality of generational conflict.